After finding Stanley Moghalu innocent of murder last month, jurors in the case have failed to come to any conclusions on lesser weapons charges in the case, prompting Judge Henry Greene to declare a mistrial Monday.
Moghalu, 25, was accused of killing 36-year-old Steven Curtis Moore. The earlier verdicts, which found Moghalu innocent, will stand. But he could face a retrial on the weapons charges. He remains held pending a status hearing scheduled for Tuesday.
Jurors in the case have deliberated for more than two months and have not yet announced verdicts on remaining charges against three of Moghalu’s co-defendants. They are expected to continue deliberating Tuesday.
During a trial that lasted nearly two months, prosecutors argued that Moghalu, Jekwan Smith, Johnnie Harris, and Anthony Hatton were members of a crew called “21st and Vietnam.” As such, they were charged with 21 counts including conspiracy, first-degree murder, obstruction of justice, assault, and weapons charges related to the deaths of Moore, Isaiah Sheffield, and Tyrell Fogle.
Police found Moore December 3, 2011 around 6:33 p.m. on the 1100 block of 21st Street Northeast suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. Five months later Moghalu was arrested, along with Harris and Kevin Charles, and charged with Moore’s death.
In June, Charles pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed. Four months later, after two months of witness testimony and about a month of deliberations, jurors found Moghalu and Harris innocent of the most serious charges— murder, obstruction, and weapons violations— in connection with Moore’s death.
Moghalu was also found innocent on a separate charge of committing a crime while on release, but still faced two counts of carrying a pistol without a license, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
On Monday, as deliberations entered their ninth week, jurors seemed to be confused about the remaining charges against Moghalu. After the fourth jury note was sent to the court, Judge Greene declared a mistrial on the two firearms charges.
Deliberations in the case began August 20 and have been plagued with delays and apparent disagreements. Three jurors have been dismissed from service. Earlier this month jurors reported that they were unable to continue deliberating after one juror had to be restrained after attempting to physically attack another juror.
Five partial verdicts have been delivered since the beginning of deliberations. All previous verdicts delivered in the case against Moghalu will stand.
Jurors will continue deliberating on the remaining charges against Hatton, Smith and Harris Tuesday morning.